With Bad Weather On The Way, Safety Is Important
With potentially heavy rain and wind expected tomorrow morning and throughout the week, all parents in the Sacramento City Unified School District are encouraged to spend some time this evening and over the next few days discussing wet and unsafe weather safety tips with their children.
While we do not anticipate at this time the weather to be severe enough to disrupt regularly planned school activities this week, please note that if the weather causes any damage or safety issues that would alter or change any school’s regularly planned activities, parents will be communicated to and notified by their school through a phone message as soon as possible.
Below are some wet weather safety tips we recommend sharing with your student.
If Walking to School
- Make sure your child has a safe route before allowing her or him to walk to school.
- Consider whether your child has the skills necessary to walk safely to school. Can (s)he stay alert to the dangers of traffic? Can (s)he stay focused on getting to school without getting distracted and delayed?
- Walk or scope out the route yourself before taking your child along. Be sure that the route (s)he will take offers good visibility, is relatively free of hazards, has plenty of pedestrian room at a safe distance from traffic and involves no dangerous crossings.
- Consider available daylight when your child will be walking. Regardless of visibility, be sure your child is wearing brightly colored clothing.
- If extremely bad weather conditions are a concern, have a safe backup transportation plan.
- See if there are other neighborhood children your child can walk with. There is safety in numbers.
In addition to being exposed to traffic, bicycles present some specific safety concerns. But taking basic safety steps can help lessen the risks that bicycles present to students who ride them to school.
- A bicycle helmet is a must. Make sure your child always wears one to ride a bicycle, no matter how short the ride may be. The helmet should be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Brightly colored clothing helps drivers see cyclists more clearly. Be sure your child’s clothing makes them more visible.
- Children should only be allowed to ride when there is plenty of daylight. If it is dark outside, consider other transportation plans.
- Young children (up to age 9) should only ride with adult supervision, and never on the street.
- Use your judgment about allowing older children to ride in traffic, depending on how heavy or slippery road traffic is where they’ll be riding; how mature the children are; and how able they are to follow the rules of the road.
- All bicycle riders should follow the basic rules of the road: Ride with traffic.
- Stop and look both ways before entering the street. Remember that in slippery weather, cars may have difficulty braking.
- Stop at all intersections, whether marked or unmarked.
- Before turning, use hand signals and look in every direction.
- Teach your children to check their bike’s condition on a routine basis. Tires, brakes and seat and handlebar height should be checked annually. Make sure your child is able to brake safely on wet surfaces.
In a Vehicle
Many teens drive to school or ride along with a sibling or peer who does. This is by far the riskiest way to get to school. Teens driving other teens account for 55 percent of school travel-related deaths and 51 percent of injuries, according to figures from the National Research Council. Consider driving your student(s) to school in bad weather. Taking the time to be a safe driver is all the more important when children are in the vehicle, especially during the morning and evening rush hours, when traffic is often at its heaviest.
- If your teen has been driving for less than 6 months, consider driving them to school, instead of having them drive themselves to school if road conditions are unsafe.
- Insist on seatbelt use at all times. No exceptions.
- Be clear with your teen about your policies for safe driving, and make sure you model those policies yourself. Eliminate all distractions when driving (loud music, cell phones, conversation, food and drink).
- If you’re driving children to school, be sure to follow safe practices for your young passengers to teach them the value of safe driving.